The Grizzlies, unable to agree on a buyout figure with Chandler Parsons on the $25 million remaining on his contract, have traded the veteran forward to the Hawks for Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee, ESPN.com reported Wednesday, citing unidentified league sources.
The reasoning behind the trade, according to former NBA executive Bobby Marks, now with ESPN: By breaking the $25 million owed to Parsons into two contracts with Hill and Plumlee, the Grizzlies could find it easier to move the players in trades next season. The Hawks, meanwhile, open a roster spot with the two-for-one deal.
I like what Memphis did with breaking up the $25.1M Parsons contract into 2 contracts (@ $12M per each) that could be easier to move in a future trade.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 3, 2019
All three players are in the final year of their contracts. Hill, 28, has a salary of $12.8 million in 2019-20, while Plumlee, 30, is due $12.5 million.
Hampered by chronically troublesome knees, Parsons, entering his ninth season in the NBA, hasn’t played in more than 36 games in each of the past three seasons with the Grizzlies after never playing in fewer than 61 in his first five seasons in the league with the Rockets, who drafted him in 2011, and Mavericks.
He has averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his career but averaged 7.2 points per game in three seasons with Memphis.
His final season with the Grizzlies wasn’t without drama. Sidelined with knee problems, he was cleared to play in late December. The Grizzlies wanted him to play with their G League affiliate before he rejoined the active roster, but Parsons — amenable to a G League stint — wanted a clear timeline on when he would be activated by the NBA team.
Parsons chose to leave the team in early January until the issue was resolved. In early February, he was activated and appeared in his first game since Game 3 on Oct. 22.
Clearly, Parsons’ stint with the Grizzlies didn’t turn out the way the sides thought it would when he signed a four-year, $94.4 million contract before the 2016-17 season.
Hill — acquired by the Hawks from the Pelicans on draft night — is another player who has seen his role decrease since he signed his four-year, $48 million contract in 2016. He averaged close to 30 minutes per game in 2016-17 but saw his minutes fall or fluctuate since with the Pelicans.
He has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Plumlee has averaged 4.9 points and 4.5 rebounds for five teams. He was acquired by the Hawks in a 2017 trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Hornets.